Dance Critique Essay | Why Are Dance Critiques Important?, Factors to Consider a Dance Critique

Dance Critique Essay: Dance critiques are a way of documenting a dance performance through a spoken or a written review. It can also refer to the report or review itself. Usually, critiques can be submitted anonymously by the audience or by the dancers themselves. This essay will define the term critiques, introduce dance critique examples, and explain why they are important. The essay will also act as a guide to create a dance critique of your own.

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What are Dance Critiques?

Dance critiques are pieces of writing that document the art of dance through written or spoken word. They provide descriptions about the dancer’s movements, attire, choreography, etc. Dance critiques are also meant to communicate what feelings or emotions were experienced by the critic while watching the performance.

Why Are Dance Critiques Important?

Dance critiques are important because they allow audiences to be able to learn about different kinds of dances without having to physically attend a performance themselves. Dance critics provide written or verbal descriptions that detail what the dancer’s movements were.

How Do You Write A Dance Critique Example?

As already discussed, a dance critique is a type of evaluation of a dance and its performance. It can also be an evaluation of the dance instructor or the venue where the dance was performed. The critic will usually discuss what they liked and didn’t like about the performance, whether it met any expectations, and whether they would recommend that others see it. Following are a few steps to consider when writing a dance critique:

  • Experience the performance with an open mind – One of the most exciting aspects of experiencing a dance performance is that it’s unpredictable. You never know what you’re going to see, hear, or experience. Every audience member has their own unique perspective on the performance and it’s important to watch, listen, and experience the performance with an open mind.
  • Do a little research – Access to historical information about the choreographer and the other works by that choreographer can help to formulate a structure to your dance critique. Other important factors to consider when drafting the dance critique includes the dance itself, the dance company, the principal dancers, the composer and other influencing factors.
  • Writing the critique – Analyze and begin writing the critique. Consider factors such as movement, choreography, space, performance, music, staging, overall reaction and personal response.

Factors to Consider when Drafting a Dance Critique

Following are certain factors to consider and their sample usage in a dance critique

What movements were observed in the dance performance?

“The choreography of this dance performance mainly consisted of rhythmic body movements and was observed to be quite fast-paced. It is worth noting that the dancers’ movements were in sync with one another and had a very fluid quality.”

What body actions did the dancers perform?

“The dancers performed the salsa dance. They were demonstrating a combination of Latin American and traditional ballroom dance moves.”

Which parts of the body were emphasized during the dance performance?

“The performance highlighted body parts that are often not shown in modern dance. The dancers’ bodies were expressive and sensual, creating a provocative experience for the audience.”

Was the dance performance sharp or sluggish? 

“The performance was sharp and crisp. The dancers moved with precision and grace. Watching them was a breathtaking experience that I will never forget.”

Was the dancer’s movement deliberate or explosive?

“The dancer’s movement was deliberate. The use of explosive gestures was limited to specific moments only. This can be seen in the first section of the dance, where he only used them during the release of tension, or when transitioning between different parts.”

What forms did the dancers’ bodies employ?

“The dancers’ bodies were splayed across the floor, some in contorted positions while others were lying on their backs or curled into the fetal position.”

What kind of structure does the dance employ?

“The structure of the dance was very well put together, following the ABA choreographic structure. Moreover, the dancers all seemed very talented and it seemed like they were having a lot of fun.”

How did the dancers relate to each other? 

“All dancers have a different perspective of the dance as they all experience it differently. The dancers never agree as to what is going on, so they have to come together and decide on a plan of action.”

How were the dancers grouped? 

“Dances are often performed in groups. Dancers are usually not alone or in pairs, but instead are in groups.”

What kind of movements were observed in the dance performance? 

“The dance performance has a very fluid and rhythmic movement. There are many fast movements but there are also moments of stillness.”

Was the dance a narrative?

“Not all dances tell a story, but some do. A narrative dance is a type of creative dance that uses choreography to tell a story or convey a sequence of events through movement and gesture.”

Was the dance abstract?

Abstract art is difficult to understand; it does not have a concrete idea or story that can be communicated visually. The term abstract refers to anything that does not represent an object, feeling, or recognizable form.

Did the dance have a clear beginning, middle, and end?

Generally, a dance will have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The dance begins with the introduction of the dancers and the “call” for all to come out on stage. The middle of the dance is usually where most of the dancing takes place with a clear beginning and end.

Movement of dancers through space

“This dance performance was designed to explore the experience of moving in space. The dancers moved in an almost choreographed manner, with their movements often mirroring each other.”

What were the technical and expressive abilities of the dancers?

“The performance showcased technical and expressive abilities of the dancers in a variety of ways. One notable instance had the dancers depending on each other for balancing.”

What made a particular performer stand out? 

“The performer that stood out the most for me was Natalie Portman. She was incredible! Her moves were so distinctive and graceful. I love her expressions too – they were very communicative and brought out subtle emotions”

Were the dancers focused and energetic?

“The dancers in the performance were focused and energetic. They were able to listen to the music and follow it smoothly. The dancers displayed a great deal of skill by doing complicated moves with ease.”

Common Mistakes When Writing A Dance Critique Example

You can avoid common mistakes when writing a critique by following these simple guidelines:

  • Make sure your critique is complete – A critique is a critical evaluation of somebody’s work. They are often written by experts who have the knowledge to judge somebody else’s work. When somebody asks for your opinion on their work, it is considered polite to provide feedback that will help the individual grow and learn from their mistakes.
  •  Avoid personal bias as much as possible – Personal bias can be detrimental to your writing. For example, if you are writing about a topic that you have strong feelings for, it can lead to biased arguments and biased facts. It is important to be fair and objective when presenting facts in order for the reader to feel confident in your arguments and conclusions.
  • Be as concise as possible – Writing concisely will make your critique more readable and more likely to be shared. Shorter sentences and paragraphs allow readers to comprehend the information quickly and easily. Concise writing also leaves less room for misinterpretations and inaccuracies, and allows readers to spend more time reading about the content rather than reading the verbose introduction.
  • Be respectful – Critiquing a performance is a delicate art. Furthermore, constructive criticism is not personal, but rather an opportunity for improvement. If you are reviewing someone’s performance, keep in mind that there may be something about it they may be proud of even if you find faults in it.


Dance critiques are a constructive response to a dance performance with a purpose of providing feedback to the dancer. The critique is a structured conversation with a dancer about his or her performance with the goal of providing feedback on the way they danced. Moreover, dance critics are able to see dance through a different lens. They can critique the performance, the choreography, the costumes, and more. For example, they can focus on whether or not dancers are in sync with one another or if there was anything that didn’t seem to make sense. This is an important role because it helps to shape future performances and often leads choreographers to change their work.

FAQ’s on Dance Critiques

Question 1.
What are Dance Critiques?

Dance critiques are a form of feedback given to dancers after they perform. Dance critiques can be positive or negative, and are often used to help dancers grow and develop their performance skills.

Question 2.
Why Are Dance Critiques Important?

Dance critiques are important to help dancers, choreographers, and dance teachers understand what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. Dance critiques can also help dancers understand the meaning of their performance. Most importantly, dance critiques should be constructive, not destructive.

Question 3.
How do you write a dance critique?

A dance critique is a form of review which evaluates the performance of a dancer. A dance critique can be written in response to an individual performance, or as part of a wider discussion on technique or style within the field. The critique should cover the following areas: performance date, location of the performance, choreographer, dancers, program, music, costumes, lighting, sets, personal opinion of the reviewer and also the audience.

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